Gone are the days of “unsatisfactory” ratings by the BBB — they’ve switched over to a letter grading system designed to provide consumers with “more detailed insight into a business’s track record.”
For about $1400, you can raise your FICO credit score by 35 to 40 points through companies like TradeLine Solutions, writes the New York Times. Lots of subprime mortgage holders are turning to these companies in a last ditch effort to game the FICO system, in order to avoid rate adjustments that might send them into foreclosure. Of course, knowingly misrepresenting your credit score might count as loan fraud, points out a FICO representative.
SmartMoney reports on the threat of underage identity theft; 5% of FTC complaints in 2005 were about victims 18 years old or younger. Children are often perfect targets, because they have social security numbers that are largely unused–which means unchecked–until they’re old enough to apply for their first job or credit card.
…shortly after [Kristen Smith’s] 16-year-old son started a summer gig at a local car dealership… his new employer conducted a routine background check that returned shocking news: A man living in Phoenix was using his Social Security number. Even more shocking was the discovery by the local police department that there was more than one perpetrator. In 1994, a man from Pennsylvania with a DUI arrest on his record had been using Smith’s son’s Social Security number as well.